Thursday, May 18, 2006

Not a Christian? Don't be a lemming.


Don't make the decision not to be a Christian based on the Da Vinci Code. I have to say that I am increasingly shocked by the American public and how ready and willing they are to accept the inaccuracies Dan Brown portrays as truth. Respect yourself enough to do a little research before you join the mass of lemmings following Brown around with their tongues wagging, ready for another earth shattering "truth" fall from his pen. I'll even give you a leg up. Here are some of the flagrant fallacies from Brown's Code:

The following are from the May 15 issue of USA Today in an article entitled, Where's the passion over 'Da Vinci Code'? by Amy Welborn. Welborn has a master of arts in church history from Vanderbilt University. She has written two books on Brown's best seller: De-Coding Mary Magdalene: Truth, Legend, and Lies and De-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of the Da Vinci Code.
~~~~~
1. Fiction: The Priory of Sion is an ancient group charged with protecting the secret of the real Holy Grail, and Leonardo da Vinci was a Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.
Fact: The Priory of Sion was extablished in 1956 by a crackpot Frenchman who was exposed as a fraud in the French media in the 1980's. The documents claiming Leonardo's role were forged and planted in the French archives in teh 1960's. Since theere was no Priory of Sion in the way that The Da Vinci Code describes it, Leonardo couldn't have been a part of it. Simple logic.

2. Fiction: Politics determined what Gospels made it into the Bible.
Fact: By the mid-second century, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John were widely accepted as the foundational texts of Christianity. The criteria had nothing to do with gender or power. It was all about whether they reflected the witness of the apostles about Jesus, how old they were, and how useful they were for the entire church, instead of just a small group.
[This also may be helpful to those who might have questions concerning the Gospel of Judas and whatever super secret version of Jesus's life, mission, death, and divinity that might arise from it's recent "discovery."]

3. Fiction: Constantine invented the divinty of Christ in 325.
Fact: Even a cursory look at textual evidence shows tat Christians worshipped Jesus as Lord long before Constantine's reign. The Council of Nicea was called to address a heresy called Arianism, which taught that Jesus wasn't fully divine.

4. Fiction: Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married.
Fact: The Gospels are all very forthright about Jesus' familial relations, and they don't hide the existence of Mary Magdalene, either. If they had been married, there would have been no reason to hide the fact.
[And if you caught last week's edition of The Enquirer, you'll be disappointed to learn that the Gospel of Judas reveals an even more shocking truth: they got a divorce too!]

5. Fiction: Christianity demonized Mary Magdalene in order to suppress her influence.
Fact: Mary Magdalene is a saint. In every Gospel, she is cited as the fist person to find the empty tomb. She was the second-most revered saint of the Middle Ages, after Mary, Jesus' mother. That's an odd way to demonize.
~~~~~
I've read The Da Vinci Code, and to be honest with you, it scared me. And I was raised in the church. So, I did some reading. Did I believe any of it--no, not really, but I'm not some super-Christian who is impervious to doubt. I refused to be a lemming either way. Over the next few days I will post a few of the inaccuracies that were brought to my attention by scholars who have greater access to historical documents, better understanding of ancient languages, and are more experienced in the area of historical study (complete with references and page numbers which, might I add, you'll find none of in Brown's so-called factual novel--an oxymoron if there ever was one). I hope you will check in, even if you don't believe in Christianity. At the very least, be well-informed. Don't let Dan Brown dupe you into believing that "almost everything our fathers taught us about Jesus is false" (Code, 235).

3 Comments:

Blogger Lycan said...

Hmmm...

I read the Da Vinci Code over a year ago. It's not my intention to sound contemptuous here, but it didn't bother me...much, because I kept reminding myself over and over that the book is a work of FICTION.

What I thought more than anything while reading it was, how many people who aren't Christians are going to take this for reality, and allow themselves to be swayed by it. That's what I saw as part of your point of this post.

I think one of the worst things Christians can do, however, is to get their dander up over it to begin with. If non-Christians see us get really stirred up about it, then it is only going to make people think that there is something there that is really worth investigating.

Anyone, Christian or not, that would take a known work of fiction and allow it to affect their reality has problems.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Sarah B. said...

Part of the reason I think it's important to refute the "evidence" against Christianity in Brown's novel is because I talk to people all the time who really do think that it's true. The fact is, it isn't.

I'm not exactly "getting my dander up." Honestly, the book stirred questions within my own heart and I had to deal with them. If that's true, then what must be happening in the hearts of those who haven't had the benefit of lifelong Christian teaching? If you don't know the truth, how can you recognize a lie?

I'm not trying to be "that guy." Honestly, I usually like to wait for it to come up in conversation before I get too pointed with what I think. But, this topic is up. It's all over the news.

I'm not out here trying to convert people by arguing with Brown. I'm just saying that it's a bunch of hooey, so don't go deciding about your faith based on it.

Christians don't say enough because we don't want to act like we're getting all worked up about stuff. But, I think we need to be bold enough to at least challenge people to base their disagreements with our belief system on more than just Dan Brown's novel.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Lycan said...

Please don't misunderstand me. Your post wasn't what I was talking about in reference to "getting your dander up."

Those that I was refering to were the likes of those that I saw yesterday evening. Yesterday was my parents' anniversary, so we stopped by the local theater to get them a gift certificate so they could have a date night on us. There, standing on the corner of the parking lot, was a group of people all holding signs that read, "I love Jesus Christ...I refute the Da Vinci Code."

I apologize for not coming out and prefacing my comments with the fact that I believe that what you are doing is a good idea. I think it is a good witnessing oppurtunity. "Did Da Vinci Code make you wonder? Keep in mind that is fiction and listen to what is right." That's great.

What gives me crazy head, however, are the likes of those at the theater that seem to think that Dan Brown's intention for writing the book was to proclaim himself a modern day prophet and for the Da Vinci Code to be a new Book of Mormon or something.

Being ready to give a answer to clear up misconceptions is one thing. Vilifying Mr. Brown and making the book out to be more that it is, is something else altogether.

12:10 PM  

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